The Montclair Kimberley Academy Middle School Curriculum Guide by yaosaigeng

VIEWS: 34 PAGES: 32

									The Montclair Kimberley Academy




                             2010-2011
       Middle School Curriculum Guide
      The Montclair Kimberley Academy
            Mission Statement
    The Montclair Kimberley Academy is a Pre-K–12 coeducational day school with
    an exceptional college preparatory program unified by the concepts of our school
    motto: Knowledge, Vision, Integrity. An MKA education is defined by the
    following commitments:

    Knowledge:
     To cultivate a love of learning in each student
     To develop independent and autonomous learners
     To establish a foundation of academic excellence

    Vision:
     To engage each student intellectually and personally with the world
     To graduate students who will excel in college and in their lives beyond MKA
     To recognize complexity and value empathy

    Integrity:
      To strengthen each student’s intellect, character, and confidence
      To promote each student’s full and active citizenship and leadership
      To secure a life-long sense of honor through academic, athletic, and artistic
      achievement

    With traditions dating back to 1887, MKA was formed by the merger of
    Montclair Academy, Brookside School, and The Kimberley School in 1974.




2
       MKA Middle School Philosophy
The aim of The Montclair Kimberley Academy Middle School is to help young
adolescents become self-reliant learners who strive for academic excellence by engaging
their intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for learning in a challenging and supportive
academic program. By providing opportunities for students to learn independently
and from peers with different strengths, skills, backgrounds, and perspectives and for
them to assume leadership roles through varied curricular experiences and activities,
we seek to develop young adolescents of ethical and moral excellence.


 Belief Statements

   We believe that
   •	 Every child in our community should be respected and honored.
   •	 A young adolescent’s positive social/emotional development is essential to
      his or her success as a middle-level learner.
   •	 Every Middle School child must have an adult who knows him or her well
      and who serves as advocate and primary contact with the family.
   •	 A child’s education is a shared responsibility of student, family, school and
      community.
   •	 The academic program must challenge all students to achieve growth in
      knowledge and in the skills of speaking, listening and thinking.
   •	 Our Middle School academic program must be designed to meet the needs
      of young adolescents with varying interests, abilities and experiences.
   •	 We must provide support and guidance for students to work towards
      learning goals, while fostering their independence as young people.
   •	 We must help students learn how to learn, instructing them in important
      learning strategies, such as organization and time management.
   •	 Our academic program must offer experiential learning opportunities that
      create bridges to students’ life experiences.
   •	 Our academic program must encourage students to explore interests
      and develop strengths through learning experiences that link academic
      disciplines.
   •	 Our program must provide effective transitions between the Primary
      School and the Upper School.
   •	 Service to school, community and others is an essential part of our program
      that builds upon young adolescents’ emerging sense of social awareness.




                                                                                           3
The Lower House
Fourth and fifth grade students comprise the Lower House of the Middle School. The Lower House follows the
elementary school model where students begin and end their day in homeroom, and learn and travel primarily with
their homeroom groups. Students’ homeroom advisors are core content area teachers who teach their advisees in at
least one subject and get to know them in small advisor-group settings. Students’ activity is centered in one “home”
hallway, exclusively dedicated to fourth and fifth grade students, where their language arts, math and social studies
classes meet. Students travel in groups to their science, foreign language, fine and performing arts, health and
physical education classes. All fourth and fifth grade students share recess and an early, Lower House lunchtime.

       INTEGRATED ETHICS
          Ethics and character development are integrated into all areas of school life from the classroom to the
          playing field. With our school seal (“Knowledge, Vision, Integrity”) and Character Standards serving
          as the foundation for this education in character, students are taught both explicitly and implicitly.
          More specifically, our goal is to provide all of our students with the opportunity to examine their own
          identity and character development as they learn to lead by example.
          Service Learning
          As part of MKA’s Ethics and Character Development Program, students learn to be good citizens
          who contribute to their community through service. The advisory program helps students to build
          awareness of the world around them and the role they can play in effecting positive change through
          service. Each grade level participates in a service-learning project. Fourth grade students coordinate
          and carry out the Middle School’s recycling efforts by recycling paper on a weekly basis for all the
          classrooms and offices in the building. Fifth grade students visit residents of the Van Dyk Nursing
          Home four times throughout the year. Students in both fourth and fifth grades participate in
          collecting food for the Human Needs Food Pantry and in various service projects sponsored by the
          Student Government, such as Denim Day, UNICEF, Thanksgiving baskets and the faculty-student
          basketball game fundraiser. Through this effort to integrate such projects into the advisory program,
          students learn to take ownership of their own character development by participating in authentic
          service-learning opportunities.
          Technology Integration
          MKA’s commitment to preparing students for academic excellence and the development of good
          character includes its implementation of the 1:1 laptop program. At each grade level, teachers
          integrate technology as a learning tool to help students develop their skills and their understanding.
          Teaching and learning in a 1:1 environment furthers the school’s mission to equip students with both
          the technological fluency and the digital citizenship necessary to sustain learning and foster leadership
          in the 21st century.




4
 Class Overnights
 In addition to a variety of field trips that supplement the curriculum, fourth and fifth grade students
 participate in a special, class overnight each year, accompanied by the grade-level teaching team.
 These overnights are designed to encourage collaboration among classmates and foster the mutual
 respect required for team building. A cadre of seventh grade students accompanies and mentors the
 fourth grade students on their trip to Fairview Lake. There, students camp in cabins, enjoy outdoor
 team-building activities and learn about the natural environment. Fifth grade students become a
 grade-level team as they learn how to pitch tents and have an outdoor camping experience on the
 Middle School grounds (or in the Gym if the weather does not cooperate). These experiences are
 among the most memorable for Lower House students because, as they learn and work together, they
 learn more about their classmates, their teachers and themselves.
HOMEWORK
 Homework contributes to effective learning by providing opportunities to prepare, practice and
 extend skills, and apply ideas creatively. Completing homework assignments also helps students
 learn responsibility and time management. Fourth grade students have homework four times a
 week and only occasionally on weekends. Fifth grade students are assigned weeknight homework
 and the equivalent of a weeknight assignment over the weekend (with the exception of monthly
 “no-homework weekends”). Teachers coordinate assignments so that students should be able to
 complete work for all subjects in 45 to 90 minutes. Teachers post assignment sheets, course work
 and homework to Moodle, an interactive, web-based site that enables students to check homework,
 organize their workload and interact digitally through blogs and forum postings.
PROGRESS REPORTING
 Communication between parents and teachers takes place throughout the year. Advisors contact
 parents on a monthly basis to share successes and discuss any concerns about students’ lives at school.
 Parent-advisor conferences are scheduled in the fall and late spring. Parents receive formal quarterly
 progress reports from the teachers in each subject that include a checklist and a narrative that
 elaborates on the student’s strengths and weaknesses. In the second and fourth quarters, narratives in
 language arts and mathematics are replaced with detailed rubrics on which teachers indicate student
 progress in areas assessed.




                                                   Middle School                                           5
Fourth Grade

LANGUAGE ARTS
Reading and Writing Workshops
    The fourth grade language arts program focuses on the five critical and interrelated experiences of reading, literary
    response, composition, language skills and rhetorical skills, such as discussion and presentation. Reading Workshop
    uses a minilesson approach. As part of their targeted instruction, teachers often read aloud selections from novels,
    poetry and short stories to model reading strategies for students. One of the most critical reading strategies
    that fourth graders use is making personal connections between their own life experiences and the book. The
    importance of using the strategies of pre-reading, close reading and re-reading is also emphasized throughout the
    reading process. For reading workshop, students choose their own books at their individual reading level and keep
    a log of their required independent reading nightly. Students also read in book clubs during the year. Whole-class
    readings include In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, The Landry News and a selection of Hans Christian
    Andersen fairy tales, a fourth grade Core Work.
    During Writing Workshop, students use the steps of process writing to hone their skills in a variety of structures
    and genres, including memoir, poetry and feature article. Teaching the writing process begins with minilessons
    about collecting seed ideas and using pre-writing skills. As they develop their work, students incorporate the craft
    and structure of mentor pieces in their own writing. This is followed by multiple revisions and editing. Spelling
    and grammar are embedded in writing (and reading) workshops; differentiated minilessons teach basic rules and
    common patterns. Use of computers during the writing process helps to facilitate drafting and proofreading. Final
    drafts of all completed projects are celebrated with publishing parties that allow students to share their work with
    their peers. Applications such as iMovie and GarageBand for podcasting offer a multimedia venue for publishing
    the written word.


SOCIAL STUDIES
Communities on the Move: Understanding Hunter-Gatherers, Migration and Immigration
    In social studies, students explore various civilizations as they consider the migration of humans. Examining
    primary source materials, analyzing maps, and utilizing Internet and library research skills all help students gain
    understanding of various cultures in order to appreciate our own world and their role in it.
    Fourth grade students begin with a study of early humans through an archaeologist’s lens. By examining humans’
    five basic needs, they come to understand early humans and Neolithic farmers. This leads to a study of migration
    and Native Americans. Students work collaboratively, focusing on the Lenape people of North America and how
    basic needs and geographic factors influenced their movement and culture. A study of the Maya, Aztec and Inca
    provides a window into the world of the ancient civilizations of South America.
    Field trips to Ellis Island and the Tenement Museum highlight the study of the Great Wave of Immigration and
    give further depth of understanding to their reading of the poem “The New Collosus,” the poem inscribed on the
    Statue of Liberty and a fourth grade Core Work. Students supplement learning gathered from these trips with
    primary and secondary source research, both in the library and online, in order to assume the persona of an Ellis
    Island immigrant. As the immigrant, they write diary entries, pack an immigrant’s suitcase and prepare a skit
    about their journey to America.
    The introduction to Social Studies in the Upper House section provides an overview of the focus of Social Studies
    instruction at all grade levels in the Middle School.




6
MATHEMATICS
Everyday Math 4
  Building on the base developed in Everyday Mathematics, Grades K-3, fourth grade students continue in the
  University of Chicago School Mathematics Program. Learning experiences are almost always anchored in concrete
  and real-life experiences that encourage children to construct knowledge and concepts for themselves. Students
  share ideas through discussion and play games to attain mastery of skills. Home Links, the homework component,
  provides the base for parents to act as partners in their children’s learning.
  Fourth grade students concentrate on the use of numbers. They read and write large numbers and explore place
  value and the use of both decimals and fractions. Measurement activities in both the U.S. and metric systems lead
  to work with estimation and approximation. Units of area, perimeter, volume and capacity are included.
  In addition, students master number facts and practice mental arithmetic. They learn equivalent fractions, decimals
  and percents. By examining patterns in mathematical ideas, students improve their number sense and develop ways
  of performing calculations readily. With the study of probability, students learn to make sensible predictions, and
  they study the statistical concepts of maximum, minimum, range, median, mode and mean.
  Fourth grade students also learn the vocabulary and notation for line segments, lines, rays, polygons and
  polyhedral. They visualize three-dimensional objects and explore some ideas of transformation geometry. Using
  missing number ideas, students begin developing the use of variables.

SCIENCE
Emerging Scientist: Investigating Earth Systems, Magnetism and Electricity
  In fourth grade, students engage in their learning as scientists–in ways that mirror real-world science. Fourth grade
  science capitalizes on students’ natural curiosity. Students learn about the world around them by developing the
  skills of science–observing, recording data, asking testable questions and reflecting on their thinking. Students use
  scientific and technological tools in a meaningful way to apply the scientific process.
  Student scientists begin the year by exploring the relationship between land and water. Students create models
  using sand, soil and water to determine how water impacts and shapes land. These young scientists analyze
  photographs of land and water features by drawing on their newfound knowledge.
  After delving into earth systems, young scientists focus on magnetism and electricity. They explore the behavior of
  magnets when they compare how they interact with a series of materials. Once they have tackled the intricacies of
  electricity, students apply their knowledge of both magnetism and electricity to building their own electromagnet.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE
French and Spanish: Building Communication Skills
  In fourth grade foreign language, students develop basic communication skills through immersion in the target
  language. Study enhances students’ ability to understand the language and retain basic vocabulary. Language
  acquisition is reinforced through repetition, teacher modeling and gesturing. Students sing, dance, listen to music,
  and participate in a variety of interactive, hands-on activities and language games. Multimedia tools are frequently
  used to provide visual and auditory support to engage and instruct students. Students develop communication
  skills and explore culture as they learn about the countries where the target language is spoken. Spanish students
  hear the stories and discuss the symbols that surround the Aztec Sun Stone, a Core Work. French students examine
  and discuss representations of childhood in Impressionistic paintings, their Core Work.

HEALTH
Self-Respect and Decision-Making
  Fourth grade health study, embedded in science class, provides a foundation for drug education that emphasizes
  activities to enhance self-respect, explore self-concept, and develop and practice decision-making, interpersonal and
  refusal skills. In addition to general safety information, course content also includes the muscular and skeletal systems.
                                                                                                                               7
Fifth Grade

LANGUAGE ARTS
Reading and Writing Workshops
    The fifth grade language arts program continues the fourth grade focus on the critical and interrelated experiences
    of reading, literary response, composition, language skills and rhetorical skills, such as discussion and presentation.
    Books for the required nightly reading are self-selected to meet the individual students’ interests and reading
    levels. During reading conferences with the teacher, the reader designs individualized reading goals, thus enabling
    students to analyze their progress, choose aspects of literature that are of interest to them and select focused reading
    strategies. When reading, students make inferences, support theses, and search for theme-related clues. They learn
    that universal themes can be used as key concepts for understanding their personal lives and the world around them.
    Assigned literature includes Tuck Everlasting, Song of the Trees and D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths, which includes
    the myths that comprise one of the Core Works. Students also continue to explore a variety of literary genres, such
    as short fiction, personal narrative and expository essay.
    Literature in the fifth grade serves as a launching point for writing assignments. In response to read-alouds,
    students are asked to write down seed ideas from their personal experiences, which generate the basis for their own
    stories. Select literature and examples of student work are used to model good writing by providing examples of
    figurative language, effective dialogue, and appropriate use of grammar, syntax and paragraphing. The fifth grade
    students complete their drafting process in the computer lab and are given frequent and specific instruction to
    improve their editing skills, including how to use technological tools to enhance and tighten their writing.
    The students’ progress in reading and writing is broken down into smaller parts and assessed through formal
    continuums that are sent home twice a year. In addition, a formal Writing Challenge assessment measures writing
    efforts in fifth grade (and again in seventh grade). The MKA Writing Challenge establishes criteria for qualities of
    good writing, and students assess their progress and set personal writing goals based on these standards.


SOCIAL STUDIES
Government and Society: Exploring Organization from the First Cities to Ancient Greece
    Fifth grade students create a foundation for their year’s studies as they examine and create an iMovie to explain
    the importance of the five themes of geography: location, place, region, movement and the interactions between
    humans and the environment. They use these themes to explore Ancient civilizations and participate in a simulated
    archaeological dig to better understand the methods and processes that historians use to gather information and
    answer questions about ancient civilizations. They apply their understanding as they infer meaning about the
    culture of Sumer through analyzing Mesopotamian art and examine the origins of law in Hammurabi’s Code, a
    Core Work.
    In conjunction with their study of Ancient Egypt, students choose a topic of interest for a thesis-driven research
    paper. They create essential guiding questions that scaffold note taking and conduct a research process to answer
    those questions, including a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to examine artifacts, murals and mummies.
    Following an exploration of the culture and government of Athens, students celebrate the end of the year with their
    own Greek festival, complete with Olympic games and a feast of Greek delicacies. Finally, a look at the Roman
    Republic provides the groundwork for examining several of the central principles of U.S. government.
    The introduction to Social Studies in the Upper House section provides an overview of the focus of Social Studies
    instruction at all grade levels in the Middle School.




8
MATHEMATICS
Everyday Math 5
  Fifth grade students continue in the Everyday Mathematics Program and engage in problem solving to learn
  modeling, research procedures, logical thinking, decision making about sensible answers, generalizing expressions,
  equations and formulas. Evaluating the quality of data and the significance of results is a part of students’ studies in
  the exploration of data.
  Students study numbers, numeration and order relations and learn the representation of quotients as fractions and
  the relationship of fractions to decimals. They use powers of ten, exponents and roots, and they review and expand
  on all aspects of measurement.
  In addition, students learn inverses; grouping symbols; estimation; mental arithmetic and procedures with decimals
  and fractions; rules for integers; prime and composite numbers; prime factorization; divisibility rules; exponent
  notations; and the meaning, equivalents and uses of rates, ratios, proportions and percentages.
  As they enhance their geometry and spatial sense, fifth grade students learn the properties of revolution, perspective,
  translations, rotations, reflections and symmetries, and scaling. They also learn the meaning of the graph of a
  function; patterns of letters, equations, symbols and sounds; and graphs of equations.
  The use of manipulatives aids algebra sense. Properties are expressed algebraically, and students experiment to
  create formulas and make predictions from them. Reinforcing and continuing their earlier work on creating
  algorithms, students consolidate these ideas by learning standard algorithms.


SCIENCE
Understanding Your World: Botany, Matter and Solar Energy
  Fifth grade student scientists continue to focus on understanding the world around them as they begin the year
  studying botany; they learn about germination and the parts of a plant, then design and conduct an experiment
  that investigates the factors needed for plants to grow.
  Students then begin to study the chemistry of matter. They investigate the properties of mixtures and solutions and
  chemical reactions. Once again, students use the knowledge that they have gained to plan scientific investigations.
  Finally, students investigate the role of solar energy in heating the earth. They experience first-hand how heat is
  absorbed and transferred. They practice the skills of a scientist as they collect data when they track shadows and
  record the temperature of different objects. They apply what they have learned about heat in a solar house that
  they design and test.


FOREIGN LANGUAGE
French and Spanish: Expanding Communication and Expression
  Fifth grade language students build on the foundation created in fourth grade by expanding their writing and
  reading skills. Thematic units provide students with an exciting context for acquiring vocabulary and simple
  grammar. Students use technology tools to practice what they are learning in the class and often use Inspiration
  and PowerPoint to demonstrate their understanding and mastery of vocabulary and basic grammar skills.
  They readily initiate oral expression in the target language and are able to answer simple questions and follow
  instructions. They read short passages related to the thematic units and practice writing grammatically correct
  sentences. Culture is infused in classroom activities that familiarize students with customs, cuisine and fashion.
  The Spanish Core Work, a Latin American morality tale, “The Fable of the Angry Bee,” encourages students to
  explore how temperance, not anger, solves problems. French students examine and discuss representations of
  nature in Impressionistic paintings as their Core Work.




                                                                                                                             9
HEALTH
Growing and Changing
     Fifth grade health focuses on physical, social and emotional changes during puberty. Main topics include: “What
     makes you you?”; growing up; stages of development throughout the life cycle; the reproductive system; and special
     topics, including such issues as “What makes a family?,” safety, changing relationships and growing independence.
     This course relies on a strong partnership between home and school. Teachers send home an outline at the
     beginning of the course, and parents are encouraged to discuss class topics with their children at home. Special
     parent and student homework further strengthens the home-school connection.



Fourth and Fifth Grade
FINE & PERFORMING ARTS
     Our process-oriented curriculum provides all children, regardless of natural ability or interest, with the opportunity
     to express themselves in new and different ways through the arts. During quarterly classes in art, dance, theatre arts
     and music, students gain appreciation for the joy, beauty and wonder of the arts and discover their own limitless
     potential for creative expression.
     All fourth grade students participate in Chorus and may also elect to participate in Concert Band or Strings. All
     groups rehearse during school as a full ensemble, and group lessons for the band instrumental sections take place
     after school. Fifth grade students may choose Chorus, Concert Band or Strings. As in the fourth grade, all three
     groups have full rehearsal during school, and the band instrumental sections have group lessons after school once
     a week. The chorus and bands each participate in a winter and spring concert, and the strings participate in an
     annual performance at Carnegie Hall. The Concert Bands and Strings also participate in the Music in the Parks
     Festival each May.


                                               Quarterly Classes
     Art
     Fourth grade artists engage in projects that target one or two concepts, such as color, shape and line. Basic color
     theory is introduced, and students learn to identify and create basic three-dimensional shapes. In the latter part
     of the quarter, students use these concepts as a foundation for exploring other theme-based projects. Fifth grade
     artists use what they have learned about three-dimensional shapes to create works inspired by Core Work artist
     Alexander Calder’s “Circus.” This study culminates in each student creating a short, stop-motion animation–a
     project that allows students to learn new technology skills while it reinforces the basic elements of art.

     Dance
     Student dancers are engaged in an interactive exploration of the vocabulary principles and elements of many dance
     styles. Fourth and fifth grade dancers are introduced to the genres of ballet, modern, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop
     dance and to ethnic dance, presented in cultural and historical context. The classes focus on student development
     of kinesthetics, body awareness, technical ability, spatial expressiveness and personal creativity.

     Theatre Arts
     Using a combination of creative drama and playwriting, fourth and fifth grade students learn basic acting and
     dramatic structure. As actors, they learn about profound listening, the three tools of the actor (body, voice and
     imagination), give and take, improvisation, stage directions, blocking and status. As playwrights, they learn about
     character, setting, plot, action, time and motivation. They practice and perform segments of plays in the classroom.



10
 Music
 Through both instrumental and vocal music, students in grades four and five develop the building blocks for
 appreciating music from a wide gamut of world cultures. As they sing and play xylophones, percussion instruments
 and keyboards, students learn music notation, two-part harmony, rhythm and solfege. Fourth grade students
 examine the Core Work, Peter and the Wolf, by Sergei Prokofiev. During this study, students become acquainted
 with orchestral instruments and themes. In fifth grade, students grow as musicians by using classroom instruments
 to study sound production, melody and harmony. Beginning composition allows students to create their own
 musical expressions and lends opportunities to collaborate and perform in the classroom.


LIBRARY/TECHNOLOGY
 Fourth and fifth grade students continue to develop information literacy skills introduced at Brookside. Using
 strategic research techniques, students gather information to answer important questions generated from topics that
 are based in the curriculum. Students use the library to access both print and online sources, and learn to consider
 the validity of sources. They analyze, synthesize and communicate about the information they gather in a wide
 range of formats, from writing and discussions to Moodle forums and multimedia presentations. As they learn
 about ethical use and proper citation of information, students begin to internalize the concept of respect for others’
 ideas and work.
 Students have a broad range of opportunities to acquire computer skills during information literacy classes. They
 focus on problem solving as they learn computer skills and apply those skills to research and writing assignments
 from their classroom teachers. Students work collaboratively to learn multimedia skills for creating movies and
 podcasts. Students regularly use web-based keyboarding software to learn appropriate keyboarding techniques
 and track their progress to improve typing speed and accuracy. They gradually acquire a repertoire of “tools” from
 which they can make effective choices to help them accomplish research tasks or learning goals in any context.


PHYSICAL EDUCATION
 Students participate in a variety of physical education activities designed to develop a positive attitude toward
 general fitness. During class time, students are encouraged to try new things and have fun while learning and
 improving their sports skills. Sportsmanship is the goal of each class game, and competition is not stressed. Skills
 emphasized include: flexibility, coordination, muscular strength, muscular and cardiovascular endurance, speed,
 agility, power, reaction time, balance, and large and small locomotor skills.
 For a more detailed description of the philosophy and curriculum of the physical education program, please see the
 description in the Upper House section.




                                                                                                                          11
The Upper House
Students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades comprise the Upper House of the Middle School. They are
organized by advisor groups and travel throughout the school on individualized schedules. The students follow
a ten-day schedule in which English classes meet ten times and the other major academic subjects generally drop
one meeting time per cycle. Students have Independent Learning Periods, which enable them to process what they
have learned in class and begin homework during school, and Collaborative Work Periods, which afford them the
opportunity to meet with teachers and work with peers.

       INTEGRATED ETHICS
       Ethics and character development are integrated into all areas of school life from the classroom to the
       playing field. With our school seal (“Knowledge, Vision, Integrity”) and Character Standards serving as
       the foundation for this education in character, students are taught both explicitly and implicitly. More
       specifically, our goal is to provide all of our students with the opportunity to examine their own identity
       and character development as they learn to lead by example.
          Advisor System
          The advisor system is a significant forum for students to discuss their roles as citizens of the school and
          their personal responsibilities as part of the Middle School community. All students in the Upper House
          belong to an advisor group that meets at the beginning and end of each day as well as during Advisor
          Period and Collaborative Work Period. Most groups have two teacher advisors to approximately 16
          students, and because the groups meet daily, they often become close-knit, supportive units. Students
          seek help from their advisors when they need a guide or an advocate, and advisors often help students to
          organize their commitments and problem-solve both academic and social issues.
          Service Learning
          Community service is a part of the MKA Ethics and Character Development Program and a significant
          part of the lives and learning of all Middle School students. Through the advisory program, students
          develop their awareness of the world around them and the role they can play in effecting positive
          change through service. Each grade level participates in a service-learning project. With their
          homeroom, sixth grade students visit the Senior Care Center of Montclair, seventh grade students work
          at The Roseville School and Head Start of Montclair, and eighth grade students work with Goodwill of
          Newark. All students collect food for the Human Needs Food Pantry and participate in various service
          projects sponsored by the Student Government, such as Denim Day, UNICEF, Thanksgiving baskets
          and the faculty-student basketball game fundraiser. Through this effort to integrate such projects
          into the advisory program, students learn to take ownership of their own character development by
          participating in authentic service-learning opportunities.
          Technology Integration
          MKA’s commitment to preparing students for academic excellence and the development of good
          character includes its implementation of the 1:1 laptop program. At each grade level, teachers work to
          use technology as a learning tool that develops students’ skills and their understanding. Teaching and
          learning in a 1:1 environment furthers the school’s mission to equip students with the technological
          fluency and digital citizenship necessary to sustain learning and foster leadership in the 21st century.
          Class Overnight Trips
          During the first two months of school, each grade level takes an overnight class trip that encourages
          collaboration, team-building and students’ learning about one another and themselves. Sixth grade
          students travel to Camp Bernie where they stay in cabins and participate in a series of outdoor and
          team-building activities. Seventh grade students spend three days and two nights in the woods on a
12
   trip they affectionately call “Survival.” Students hike into camp sites with loaded backpacks, pitch
   their own tents and cook their own food with their advisor groups. Eighth grade students extend
   their studies of Colonial America with a three-day, research-based trip that immerses them in the
   colonial life of Williamsburg, VA.
HOMEWORK
Homework contributes to effective learning by providing opportunities to prepare, practice and
extend skills, and apply ideas creatively. Completing homework assignments also helps students learn
responsibility and time management.
Nightly homework assignments should take students between 20 and 30 minutes in each major
discipline. Long-term projects and papers may occasionally require additional time during the year.
Sixth grade students should expect to do approximately one-and-one-half to two hours of homework
each night; seventh and eighth grade students usually have between two and two-and-one-half hours
of homework nightly. Some of this homework may be completed during Independent Learning
and Collaborative Work Periods, when students have access to their teachers and peers. Moodle is
an interactive, web-based platform that allows teachers to post assignment sheets, course work and
homework. Students use Moodle to check homework, organize their workload and interact digitally
through blogs and forum postings.
ACADEMIC REPORTING
Communication between parents and teachers takes place throughout the year. Advisors contact parents
on a monthly basis to share successes and discuss any concerns about students’ lives at school. To review
student progress, parents annually participate in two, scheduled, parent/student conferences with the
advisors. During the first conference, students participate with their parents and share goals they have
set. Students lead the year’s second parent/student conference.
Each year, parents receive a minimum of four academic reports from the school. Upper House students
receive quarterly report cards with letter grades. At the end of the first and third quarters, all students
receive narrative comments from each teacher to augment the report card and give parents a more precise
view of how their children are performing.
Students whose grade average has dropped a full letter grade, or is C- or below, receive early warning
notices halfway through a quarter. In addition, teachers write narrative comments at the end of the
second and fourth quarters for students whose grade average has gone up or down a full letter grade, or is
D+ or below. These additional academic reports are designed to provide both students and parents with
prescriptive suggestions for improving their learning.
FOREIGN STUDIES
The Foreign Studies Program at the Middle School offers language students an invaluable and enriching
immersion experience and enhances their course of study. Seventh and eighth grade students have
opportunities to participate in foreign language trips linked to their study of French, Spanish or Latin. All
traveling students go on educational excursions to important historical and cultural sites; last year, they
attended language school.




                                                       Middle School                                            13
English
The Middle School English curriculum is a spiraling one, with many topics revisited during the Middle School years.
Five critical and interrelated experiences provide the structure for study: response to literature through individual and
group activities; reading self-selected works; rhetorical skills, such as discussion and presentation; composition; and the
study of language patterns, including spelling, vocabulary, grammar and usage.
In addition to the literature that students read and discuss with the class, students are required to read self-selected,
independent reading books, and teachers recommend both classical and contemporary literature as well as nonfiction.
The workshop approach to the teaching of reading continues throughout the grades, and minilessons specific to each
genre help students practice targeted reading skills.
Students experience the connection between reading, writing and speaking each day. Prewriting activities, such as
informal writing in journals and notebooks, help students explore new ideas, focus thinking and spark discussion in both
Reading and Writing Workshops. Students use the writing process to generate original thinking in the form of personal
narratives, memoir, short fiction, poetry, letters, interviews, news articles, editorials and formal essays. All aspects of the
writing process, including using multiple drafts for revising and editing, holding conferences with peers and the teacher,
and publishing, help students develop ownership of their pieces. Students share and celebrate their final pieces in a
variety of ways, including bulletin board displays, class books, dramatic performances, iMovies, podcasts and multimedia
projects. Their writing is also published in the Middle School Literary Review and the Middle School newspaper, The
Cougar Call.
A formal assessment of written work, The MKA Writing Challenge, measures writing efforts in the fifth and seventh
grades. It establishes criteria for qualities of good writing, which are consistent with the goals of Writing Workshop
throughout grades four to eight, and students assess their progress and set personal writing goals based on these
standards. All teachers in the English Department collaborate to evaluate students’ essays in relation to six criteria: topic
development, organization, word choice, details and support, style and voice, and grammar and mechanics. In addition,
teachers are informed by the results of the CTP4 testing (Educational Records Bureau’s Comprehensive Testing Program)
in the fourth, sixth and eighth grades to identify and address both individual and class strengths and weaknesses in
writing and reading.
In the Upper House, grammar is taught for two consecutive English class periods within the ten-day cycle for sixth,
seventh and eighth grade students. The grammar curriculum focuses on parts of speech, parts of a sentence, punctuation
and usage. There is a well-articulated scope and sequence for each grade, and the goal is for students to make the
connection between a mastery of specific grammar topics and improved sentence writing. Students use Grammar in
Practice in sixth and seventh grades and Words, Phrases, and Clauses in eighth, as well as related materials and online
sources to supplement their contextual study of grammar and writing mechanics.


SIXTH GRADE
Reading and Writing Workshops: Reading for Evidence and Writing with Voice
     Entering sixth grade students choose from a list of four novels that explore the theme of peer and family
     relationships. Students also independently choose and read books from various genres throughout the year, and
     teachers monitor their progress through reading conferences and writing activities. During the year in Reading
     Workshop, students learn a variety of reading strategies through their work with fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm,
     The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Watsons Go to Birmingham, The Giver, and the Core Works: selected
     poems of Robert Frost and The Extraordinary Cases of Sherlock Holmes. In particular, students learn to annotate the
     texts for particular aspects of character development, which leads to a deeper understanding of conflict and theme,
     and to annotate their texts in a variety of ways.
     In Writing Workshop, students explore the fundamentals of good paragraph writing, including main idea and
     supporting details, and they learn to develop effective leads and conclusions. Sixth grade writing includes personal
     narrative; compare and contrast essays; a personal essay modeled after the NPR radio series, This I Believe; book
     reviews on their independent reading; poetry writing; and letters to the editor in response to feature articles in the
14
  Middle School newspaper, The Cougar Call, which is published on the MKA Moodle site. Students’ experience
  with parts of speech, parts of the sentence and punctuation in grammar helps them to construct better sentences in
  their writing, with more attention to voice. While learning formal writing skills, creativity is further encouraged
  through projects and activities such as participating in an online independent reading “social network” for sixth
  grade students only, completing a web-based research project on the Civil Rights era prior to reading historical
  fiction, and creating a multi-media collaboration to demonstrate their understanding of the mystery genre.


SEVENTH GRADE
Reading and Writing Workshops: Reading for Character and Writing for Impact
  Entering seventh grade students choose from a list of four novels that explore a coming-of-age theme, which
  informs much of their work in both reading and writing throughout the rest of the year. Students begin the
  year by reviewing literary elements and learning how to identify elements of a story’s plot through S.E. Hinton’s
  The Outsiders. After an in-depth study of the personal narrative, students continue exploring the coming-of-age
  theme through study of a seventh grade Core Work, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. During their reading
  of this classic text, students focus on character development and theme. In addition, students read poetry,
  including selected works of Pablo Neruda, another Core Work. They develop a working knowledge of poetic
  terms and dramatic language, which aids them in reading and then staging a major, grade-wide production of one
  of Shakespeare’s plays. Shakespeare play selections include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s
  Dream. Independent reading continues to be a daily component of seventh grade English, and related one-on-one
  conferences focus students’ application of effective reading strategies.
  In Writing Workshop, students begin the year with personal narrative writing and then study expository writing
  through a literary essay written in response to the Shakespeare play they have read and performed. They continue
  to hone their skills in writing clear, focused paragraphs and gain expertise in forming thesis statements supported by
  textual evidence. Students build on their understanding of the structure and elements of a short story and end the
  unit by engaging in a rich writing process as they write their own, original short stories.
  Throughout the grade seven English curriculum, students engage in blogging through a secure, student-friendly
  social networking site in order to process what they are learning and thinking and to propose, test and reflect upon
  strategies for learning new reading and writing skills.


EIGHTH GRADE
Reading and Writing Workshops: Reading for Self-Discovery and Writing for Action
  Entering eighth grade students choose from a list of four books that explore the themes of belonging, acceptance
  and identity. During the year, they read texts that investigate themes of identity and the journey to self-discovery
  as metaphor through contemporary and classic texts, such as Jack, A Separate Peace, and The Odyssey, a Core Work.
  Throughout the year, students learn reading strategies to help them understand nuances of both whole-class books
  and self-selected, independent reading, including fiction and nonfiction. During the non-fiction unit, students
  will read challenging texts such as Jon Krakauer’s Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, Michael
  Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Rachel Simmons’ Odd Girl Out, and Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner’s
  Freakonomics, to name a few. Conferring with the teacher supports students’ progress with reading, writing
  assignments, projects, and other activities and assessments. The class Moodle site provides an arena for blogs and
  forum discussions among peers. In addition, students use iPods to create audio projects during the unit on The
  Odyssey.
  Eighth grade students learn to write in a variety of genres, including the literary essay, feature article, poetry,
  personal narrative and formal response to literature. All students keep writers’ notebooks, which are used as tools to
  enhance the writing experience. When doing nonfiction reading and writing, students research journalistic topics
  in groups and write a feature article for publication. In the unit on Reading and Writing for Social Action, they
  design their own multi-genre writing project. The Langston Hughes poetry study (another Core Work) culminates
  in students creating a digital story/iMovie project to represent their own original poems.

                                                                                                                           15
Social Studies
The Middle School social studies curriculum is focused on continually answering essential questions, such as “How
and why do people and societies change?” and “How do people’s beliefs and values systems affect the way they live?”
Geography study addresses five themes: location, place, region, movement and the interactions between humans and the
environment. At each grade level, students use these frameworks to examine various civilizations and cultures. Students
are taught not only how to acquire historical knowledge by examining primary and secondary sources, but also how
to identify the larger patterns, trends and ethical issues that exist throughout history and throughout the world. Each
year, students study the modern geography of one region of the world relevant to their areas of inquiry. The study
of Core Works and Founding Documents helps students understand the roots of modern political thought and their
responsibilities as citizens of the United States and of the world community.
Throughout the social studies program, students develop research skills, including information gathering, use of Internet
resources, note taking, organization and synthesis of information. They learn the importance of clear, accurate written
expression and documentation of evidence. To demonstrate understanding, students create a variety of products,
including historical essays, diaries, oral presentations, maps and multimedia slideshows.


SIXTH GRADE
Bureaucracy and Belief: Comparing the Empires of Rome, Islam and Japan
     Sixth grade historians immerse themselves in an exploration of arts, culture, economics and politics in
     representative ancient societies. They research and write a diary of Roman life to demonstrate their understanding
     of ancient Rome and create a monument commemorating the fall of the Empire. Students next learn about the
     Empire of Islam and explore the impact of Islam in the world today in an online survey and analysis of related
     current events.
     Using texts and images as resources, students examine life in medieval Europe. They research, write, design
     and create their own textbook lesson on a topic of interest using an electronic template, complete with pictures,
     maps, timelines and questions. A comparison of the European and Japanese feudal system follows. Finally, an
     examination of the Magna Carta (a Core Work) helps students understand the foundations of our own legal
     system.
     Many topics and skills learned in social studies class enhance study in other disciplines. For instance, the study of
     Chartes Cathedral, an arts Core Work, draws connections between history and art. A visit to the Cathedral Church
     of St. John the Divine in Manhattan allows students to observe these connections firsthand.
     Students use A Message of Ancient Days and Across the Centuries as texts, as well as numerous online and print sources.


SEVENTH GRADE
As Civilizations Change: Examining the Golden Ages of Africa, Europe and the Ancient Americas
     Seventh grade historians examine the steps a society must achieve in order to build a civilization, as well as the
     reasons for its success or demise. They spend the year exploring the “golden ages” of some of the Atlantic border
     areas and begin by establishing a firm foundation in geography skills, a study that culminates in an African
     geography project incorporating research, collaboration and podcasting. Students learn about the roots of the
     mighty West African civilizations of Ghana, Mali and Songhai. They explore oral traditions and the teaching of
     cultural values through storytelling and read The Cow-Tail Switch and Other West African Stories, a Core Work.




16
  In conjunction with the grade-wide Shakespeare project, seventh grade students focus on the European Renaissance
  as they journey through the transition from the Middle Ages to the rebirth of learning and culture in Italy,
  followed by its spread throughout the rest of Europe. Students then focus on the causes and achievements of the
  resulting Reformation and Scientific Revolution. As they look at art, religion, government, society, philosophy
  and innovation, they prepare for a thought-provoking research project using both print and electronic resources.
  Classes focus on the skills and organization techniques that are necessary to plan, research, write and revise an essay.
  Following the research project, students study the impact of the Age of Exploration, generated by the European
  Renaissance, on the pre-Columbian American empires. First, they have the opportunity to focus on one of the
  most fascinating families of the Renaissance as they study the Tudors. From the vengeful Henry VIII to his legacy,
  Elizabeth I, students are captivated by the events and intrigue of the age. Then, a geographic shift to the golden
  civilizations of the ancient Americas focuses a study of the Maya, Aztec and Inca. Students collaborate on a
  culminating research project that combines the organization, research and technology skills that they have learned
  throughout the year as they create and publish a digital textbook.
  Students continue to use the textbook Across the Centuries as they build skills, such as non-fiction reading strategies,
  note-taking methods, use of graphic organizers and organization of materials.


EIGHTH GRADE
Nation Building: Understanding Citizenship and its Roots from Colonial America to 1860
  Eighth grade social studies makes history come alive by asking students to experience history on a daily basis.
  Students are encouraged to think about the past and not just to memorize it–to understand that they are the
  products of past generations and have a responsibility to continue that legacy through responsible and active
  citizenship. Students experience history through a multitude of resources, including primary sources, art, literature,
  movies, music, personal interviews with experts during a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, and a new textbook with
  its rich online resources, American History: Beginnings Through Reconstruction.
  Course work begins with the French and Indian War, so students can understand the specific causes of the
  American Revolution. Students view and discuss key sections of the film “1776” in order to understand the titanic
  issues that led to the writing of the Declaration of Independence, a Core Work, which united the nation, yet also
  forged the causes for our cataclysmic civil war. Following study of two 17th and 18th century philosophers to
  understand the foundations of the American mindset, students must choose either the philosophy of Thomas
  Hobbes or that of John Locke to represent their own beliefs on the nature of man. Later, students write a eulogy
  describing the failures of the Articles of Confederation that led to its replacement by the Constitution. Students
  represent various states in their own constitutional Convention to propose a workable government for the country.
  Studying the first Presidential administrations, students decide if the ideas of Alexander Hamilton or Thomas
  Jefferson would work best for the new nation, helping them to decide where they stand politically. While studying
  sectionalism and expansion, students design and compose text for a postcard explaining the geographic, economic
  and ideological features that define a major part of the nation. Students use these analyses as a basis for examining
  the series of major causes for the Civil War.
  With their constitutional understanding as a foundation, students study civics to become aware of the current U.S.
  political system and their potential to affect change. They have the chance to argue key Supreme Court cases and
  to serve as Justices for their peers. Students apply what they have learned throughout the year about the benefits
  and responsibilities given them as citizens of the United States by identifying a civic problem, examining potential
  solutions and implementing a plan to bring about change in their own communities.




                                                                                                                             17
Mathematics
Through their study of mathematics, students learn how to apply mathematical concepts to the real world. Projects and
differentiated instruction provide students with opportunities for exploring math concepts that ensure they are both
appropriately challenged and comfortable with learning math.
The mathematics program in the Upper House provides students with two sequences of study. While most sixth grade
students take Math 6, some take Prealgebra. All students complete their study of Algebra 1 by the end of Middle
School, and some students complete Geometry. Students are appropriately placed in math classes by their math teachers
according to their math background and achievement.
Students learn how to use a variety of computer programs (e.g., Excel, Geometers’ Sketchpad) and websites to aid in their
learning of mathematical concepts. Beginning in Algebra I, students learn how to use graphing calculators to enhance
their understanding.


MATH 6
     Math 6 students continue to develop their problem-solving skills through hands-on, lab-type investigations.
     Applying acquired concepts and skills to real-life situations is an integral part of the curriculum.
     Students study numbers, numeration and order relations. They learn how fractions are linked to repeating decimals
     and extend their knowledge of powers and roots. They work with measures and measurement in all aspects of this
     topic, including the surface areas and volumes of regular polyhedral and spheres. They also use their knowledge of
     fractions to study the art of Piet Mondrian. In studying data analysis and statistics, students gather and interpret
     data, investigate quartiles and determine measures of central tendency.
     Students develop their knowledge of inverses; grouping symbols; estimates; mental arithmetic and procedures with
     decimals and fractions; rules for integers; prime and composite numbers; prime factorization; divisibility rules;
     exponent notations; and the meaning, equivalents and uses of rates, ratios, proportions and percentages. Students
     further study ratios during the “Golden Faces” project, which explores how the Golden Ratio occurs in nature.
     They also learn procedures for operations with powers and roots. The course provides ample opportunity for
     students to become proficient in the use of spreadsheets and other technologies to enhance these skills.
     Math 6 students use Passport to Mathematics, Book 2, published by McDougal Littell. They study the Greek
     mathematician Eratosthenes as the Core Work and learn about his contribution to science and the development of
     what is known as The Sieve of Eratosthesnes.


PRE-ALGEBRA
     Pre-algebra students begin the upper-level mathematics sequence working with variables to develop key
     mathematical skills, including order of operations, powers and square roots. The study of patterns evolves from
     recognizing, describing and making generalizations from patterns. Students extend their understanding of the
     number system to include integers, rational and irrational numbers, and negative exponents. Problems based on
     the powers of ten and scientific notation provide ample opportunities to use scientific calculators, required for this
     course.
     Students explore the link between verbal models and symbolic algebraic models and use these models to solve
     multi-step equations and inequalities. They make connections to geometry as they use formulas and variables
     to describe the perimeter and area, surface area and volume for various geometric figures. Students examine
     transformations in the coordinate plane, further solidifying the relationship between algebra and geometry.
     Students learn to read about and understand new math concepts and skills, write about them thoughtfully and apply
     them to real-life problems. Using their knowledge of ratios, they build scale models of a room in their house and
     explore statistical analysis through an individual statistics project based on real-world data collected from the Internet.


18
 The textbook, Pre-Algebra, published by Holt, Rinehart & Winston, provides practice and review exercises
 that help students retain acquired skills and concepts. Pre-algebra students study Pythagoras’ contributions to
 mathematics, including the Pythagorean theorem, as a Core Work.


ALGEBRA 1
 Students extend the depth of their algebraic understanding in Algebra 1, which mirrors the course offered at the
 Upper School. In this course, students learn the algebra of linear equations and inequalities, including probability
 concepts with algebraic fractions, and focus on graphing techniques, including the use of the graphing calculator.
 Students investigate the properties of systems of equations, polynomials and square roots. They study curvilinear
 functions, represented by exponential growth and parabolas, in the context of contemporary applications in science
 and personal finance. Students explore how to collect and analyze data for independent and dependent variables
 through the “Bungee Project” and determine best fit lines and their equations in order to make predictions. Testing
 those predictions leads to an analysis of other variables involved.
 The text used is Algebra 1, McDougal Littell. Algebra students study the French philosopher, mathematician and
 scientist, Decartes, as the Core Work. They examine his contributions as the founder of analytical geometry, a
 means of applying algebra to geometric problems.


GEOMETRY
 Geometry begins with an introduction to the terms and methods through which the field of Euclidean Geometry
 is developed, and students use these fundamental building blocks throughout the year to derive powerful theorems
 and develop an understanding of geometric concepts. They learn to compose formal proofs for the first time by
 using the paragraph, indirect and analytic formats, in addition to the traditional two-column form. Composing
 formal proofs promotes an understanding of the rigor required when working in a deductive system. Students
 apply Algebra 1 skills to solve challenging problems in a geometric context. Topics studied include triangles,
 quadrilaterals, circles and other polygons; congruent and similar figures; parallel and perpendicular lines; area,
 volume and surface area; and trigonometry. Students explore conic sections and the geometry of different shapes
 of ice cream “cones” to determine which one holds the most ice cream. (Students enjoy testing their mathematical
 calculations with a real ice cream treat.)
 This course is at the same level as the Geometry Honors course offered at the Upper School. The Middle School
 text is Geometry, published by Glencoe. Geometry students study the contributions of Egyptian philosopher,
 mathematician, and “father of Geometry” Euclid as the Core Work.




                                                                                                                        19
Science
Intended to address the unique characteristics of Middle School learners, the Upper House science program engages
student scientists in their learning through experiments and observations. Students deduce the relationships between
earth and space, energy and the atmosphere, organisms and the environment, and particle theory and the behavior of
matter. To better understand these natural phenomena, students build on their prior knowledge and experience to apply
problem-solving strategies in new contexts and develop their ability to make predictions, explore relationships, discover
patterns and generate explanations about their observations. Working both independently and collaboratively on
challenging, carefully structured tasks, students have many opportunities to test procedures, collect and analyze data, use
data to support conclusions and communicate findings using the scientific principles they are studying in class.
Throughout the Middle School science program, students perform authentic research as they experience the world
of science first hand. Eighth grade students apply the skills they have developed during the Middle School years in
conducting a 15-week, independent, original research project of their own design: researching a topic, designing an
experiment, and conducting an investigation to prove or disprove a hypothesis. This process culminates in sharing their
findings with the school community.
Technology plays a critical role in students’ scientific experiences. Students use technological tools to gather, record,
communicate about and report data and experimental results. They use a variety of Internet resources to collect and
organize data and information. Students may keep notes on blogs and use videos and time lapse photography to model
scientific processes. Students often share their models, insights and conclusions on Moodle forums or through class
presentations using applications such as Keynote.


SIXTH GRADE
How Systems Work: Understanding Solar and Human Body Systems
     During the first half of the year, students engage in a study of the human body in support of the Middle School
     Health curriculum. The unit is divided into two parts: the digestive system and the respiratory and circulatory
     systems. Students follow the track of food simulating peristalsis by squeezing an oiled tennis ball through tubing.
     They perform chemical tests for sugar, starch and protein, and explore the mechanisms of absorption–diffusion and
     active transport. As students progress through this study, they take a greater responsibility for their own learning by
     planning and conducting their own procedures, devising their own data tables and analyzing the results they obtain.
     The second-semester study of the earth-moon-sun system taps into students’ natural curiosity about the solar
     system and gives them an opportunity to perform a series of hands-on activities that enrich their understanding.
     Students investigate the motion of the earth and sun as they analyze patterns in shadow data. They focus on the
     motion within the earth-moon system as they demonstrate how the moon is illuminated by the sun. Students end
     their study with a research project that demonstrates the conditions necessary for life.


SEVENTH GRADE
The Individual and the Ecosystem: Examining Ecosystems, Energy Transfer and Weather
     Seventh grade scientists explore ecosystems in depth. An ecosystem is the grandest organizational structure of life
     on Earth. Students begin with an examination of the individual within an ecosystem and expand to consider the
     ecosystem as a whole by raising a population of milkweed bugs and learning firsthand the conditions needed for
     survival. Students record regular observations and maintain a continuous record of changes and events in the lives
     of their organisms. They investigate the biotic community and the abiotic environment by looking for patterns as
     they analyze data. They explore energy transfer through a series of experiments and activities that model predator/
     prey relationships. When they study genetics, students come to understand genetics as the science of heredity, a
     function of all living things that both maintains and transfers the code for reproducing life with similar traits from
     generation to generation. Students learn the basic genetic mechanisms that determine which traits individuals will
     express in a population. They learn to explain how organisms inherit features and traits from their parents.

20
  After students explore ecosystems, they study how abiotic factors affect an ecosystem as they begin their study of
  weather. They investigate the structure, composition and function of the atmosphere; energy transfers within the
  atmosphere; and the variations in the atmosphere that cause weather. They study the impact of energy transfer on
  weather systems and implications of climatic change.


EIGHTH GRADE
Study and Independent Research: Exploring the Chemistry of Matter
  Understanding the chemistry of matter is fundamental to explaining many scientific phenomena and therefore
  provides a key foundation for students to develop their own independent research projects during the eighth
  grade year. By examining the nature of matter–its properties, composition and structure–students understand the
  energy dynamics that accompany matter transformations. They examine the immense diversity of objects and
  materials in terms of a few different kinds of atoms in combination, which helps them to appreciate the logic of
  the differentiation of matter. Students practice their laboratory skills as they learn to identify chemical substances
  by common name and chemical formula. Students then begin to study the elements, the kinetic particle theory,
  kinetic energy and heat transfer. As students progress, they investigate phase change and chemical reactions.
  Students use their understanding of chemistry as they explore the role of abiotic factors in the environment. They
  use their understanding of chemistry and the laboratory skills they have gained when they do their independent
  research project.
  When students return from winter break, they use the scientific process in developing an authentic research project.
  This is a rigorous process, divided into three components: identifying the topic to be studied and writing a research
  paper, designing and conducting an experiment, and writing a lab report and presenting their findings to the MKA
  student body. Using probes and a series of other forms of lab equipment, students collect weeks of data that they
  analyze and explain using the scientific concepts that they have learned in class.
  During the latter part of the year, students explore physical science fundamentals through a study of motion with
  a focus on force, the impetus for motion of every kind. Students investigate the concept of motion and the math
  that allows them to think about, represent and understand motion.




                                                                                                                           21
Foreign Language
In Upper House foreign language classes, students explore language through themes of interest to them in a collaborative,
interactive environment. Students are immersed in a communicative approach that fosters mastery of four key skills:
listening, speaking, reading and writing. The spiraled curriculum, interwoven with technology tools to enhance learning,
ensures that students revisit and gradually build on previous knowledge and skills. They focus on themes from daily life,
including family, friends, school life and town living, and learn grammar in a contextual setting that conveys meaning.
To encourage fluency and authentic assessment in the modern foreign languages, students practice listening to a variety
of podcasts from many different countries (with many different accents) to improve their listening comprehension. They
practice speaking using iPods and iMovie to record, and they share peer reviews using podcasts and Moodle forums.
Students in all foreign language classes learn to read for understanding, using specific strategies to improve their reading
comprehension and fluency. Most of the reading selections they encounter are culturally based and relate directly to
the countries where the language of study is spoken. To improve their writing in the foreign language, students practice
writing frequently—developing short paragraphs first and short essays by the time they reach eighth grade. Technology
applications such as Inspiration and Comic Life help students to organize and present their writing. As they engage in
the writing process, students use feedback from the teacher and peers to revise, refine and edit their work.
Students embark on cultural explorations of the French-, Spanish- and Chinese-speaking worlds and explore historical as
well as global perspectives. On a daily basis, students explore connections between the language they are studying and the
culture that it shapes. Included in these explorations are the Core Works, which focus on Latin American mythology and
folklore, French life as depicted in French Impressionism, and the significance of the Roman Arch in society.


FRENCH & SPANISH LEVEL 1A (Sixth and Seventh Grades)
     Level 1A students learn to express themselves on familiar themes, both orally and in writing. Students build a
     working vocabulary through continuous exposure to new words, learning in the target language and frequent
     collaboration with peers. Through dialogues, mimes, acting out scenarios, word games and creating presentations,
     students build their fluency with the language. They learn to orally describe themselves, family, school life and
     leisure activities. Students learn the building blocks for writing in a foreign language–nouns, adjectives and verbs–
     through modeling, pattern making and kinesthetic games. Basic reading strategies include identifying cognates
     to deduce meaning and examining punctuation to determine context. Spanish students read “The Legend of the
     Quetzal,” a Core Work, and French students examine cycles of life as captured by the French Impressionists. Level
     1A is the equivalent of the first half of a high school Level 1 language course; by the end of the year, students are
     able to carry on a limited conversation and write in simple sentences.


FRENCH & SPANISH LEVEL 1B (Seventh and Eighth Grades)
     Students in Level 1B are able to describe the details of their daily routines with increased fluency and are expected
     to sustain their thoughts both orally and in writing. They continue to expand their vocabulary base by learning
     words and expressions related to cooking, city and country life, grooming, and pastimes, such as shopping and
     eating out. While they develop their listening and oral skills, they increasingly focus on reading comprehension
     and writing skills. Reading short stories reinforces basic reading strategies. Students develop an awareness of
     sentence structure and an increased understanding of grammar and its complexities through the writing and editing
     process. Students regularly engage in collaborative tasks that promote practice, revision and retention and enable
     them to better correct themselves. Technology tools engage students and broaden their exposure to the target
     language. The Core Work for Spanish is “The Gift of Gracias,” based on the “Legend of Altagracia,” and the
     French Core Work is a focus on city life as represented in French Impressionism. By the end of the year, students
     have completed a high school Level 1 course; they can express themselves both orally and in writing using the
     present tense and have some familiarity with the simple past tense.


FRENCH & SPANISH LEVEL 2 (Eighth Grade)
     Level 2 French and Spanish students move beyond pattern responses to expressing their own ideas in the target
     language. Exchanges between students and with the teacher reinforce learning through reading, writing, speaking
22
  and listening practice that enhances vocabulary and grammar concepts. Through a variety of fun exercises,
  including creating iMovies, commercials, interviews, art critiques and multimedia presentations, students practice
  retrieving vocabulary that they have learned and processing more complicated grammar concepts. Regular writing
  projects enable students to describe and narrate events in a variety of verb tenses. Students write and edit work
  on a continuous basis. Culturally-based reading units provide students with opportunities to hone their reading
  strategies to enhance comprehension. The Spanish Core Work continues the focus on legends with “The Legend
  of La Llorona.” Modernity is the focus for the continued study of French Impressionism. By the end of the year,
  students are able to demonstrate fluency at a higher level and show mastery of the present and two past tenses.
  Students in this class complete half of the Level 2 Upper School course and are prepared to enter an Upper School
  Level 2 Honors class.


CHINESE LEVEL 1A (Seventh Grade)
  Through a wide variety of interactive activities such as web-based practice and technology-infused projects, students
  focus on increasing oral fluency with particular attention to acquiring accurate tone and pronunciation. Students
  learn vocabulary and grammar that enable them to speak about themes, such as the classroom, self-description,
  living environments, eating, the home and leisure-time activities. The pinyin system of the Romanization of the
  Chinese characters is used at first to introduce students to reading. Students begin to read and write simplified
  Chinese characters. Chinese culture, geography and history are important components of the course and are taught
  through video clips and readings. By the end of the first year of Middle School study, the equivalent of the first
  half of a high school Level 1 language course, students should be able to engage in a simple conversation and write
  it using simplified Chinese characters. Level 1A is the equivalent of the first half of a high school Level 1 language
  course.


CHINESE LEVEL 1B (Eighth Grade)
  Students continue the study of Chinese they began in the Level 1A class. They learn vocabulary related to
  day-to-day activities and the natural world. They explore sentence structure and the use of function and measure
  words. Students continue to develop their skills through interactive activities and technology-infused projects; they
  focus on increasing oral fluency with particular attention to acquiring accurate tone and pronunciation. In learning
  to read, they use the pinyin system of the Romanization of Chinese characters. They continue to read and write
  simplified Chinese characters and study culture, geography and history through video clips and readings. Middle
  School students who complete Level 1B in eighth grade will have completed the equivalent of the Level 1 language
  course at the Upper School.


LATIN LEVEL 1A (Seventh Grade)
  Students begin a formal study of Latin grammar in this course. New vocabulary and grammatical constructions are
  presented authentically as students read short Latin passages about a typical Roman family. Through reading and
  translating these stories from Latin into English, students learn about Roman history and culture while developing
  their facility with written Latin. The Core Work is a study of architectural innovation of the Roman Arch.
  Throughout the course, students continue to focus on and recognize the linguistic connections between Latin and
  English. At the end of the year, students have completed the first half of a high school Level 1 language course.


LATIN LEVEL 1B (Eighth Grade)
  Through study and discussion of topics of Roman history, culture and mythology, students continue to explore
  the fundamentals of Latin grammar and work to enhance their literal translation and analytical skills. Students
  make many connections to English vocabulary derivatives, prefixes and suffixes that enhance their understanding
  of both English and Latin. They memorize vocabulary and forms by translating sentences of connected prose.
  They continue their study of the Roman Arch, a Core Work, by exploring its influence on civilization and modern
  architecture. By the end of the year, students have completed the second half of a high school Level 1 language
  course; they are able to translate passages written in multiple verb tenses and can write short stories in Latin.

                                                                                                                           23
Fine and Performing Arts
Through their fine and performing arts study in a variety of art forms, sixth, seventh and eighth grade students have
varied opportunities to develop self-expression, self-discipline and creative risk-taking. They participate in core quarterly
classes that meet five times per cycle in areas of their choosing, including art, music, strings, theatre arts, dance and
media art. Yearlong arts courses meet once per week and offer students a range of different choices to supplement their
development as artists and performers. The choruses and bands each participate in a winter and spring concert, and the
strings participate in a yearly performance at Carnegie Hall in the spring. The Art Studio course culminates its year with
a student-curated art show in the spring.
In addition to their fine and performing arts classes, students can participate in a play at each grade level. Students in the
sixth grade have the opportunity to participate in a play, open to any interested sixth grade student as an
after-school activity in the spring. The seventh grade Shakespeare project is a grade-level collaborative effort that is part
of the curriculum and involves all students in the many aspects of play production–both backstage and onstage. The
eighth grade play involves a select group of eighth grade students who are enrolled in the Performance Ensemble and
work as cast and crew members to produce the show as part of their Fine & Performing Arts quarterly course in the fall.
Sixth through eighth grade students are also eligible to audition for the select groups of Jazz Band, Chamber Singers,
Girls Choir and Select Strings Ensemble. Jazz Band, Chamber Singers and Girls Choir meet during club time for the
entire year and are open by audition to those at an advanced level. Select Strings meets on a weekly basis and is open by
audition to advanced strings players in all grades. All the select groups and the Concert Bands travel to and participate in
the Music in the Parks Festival each May.
MKA’s fine and performing arts department offers students the opportunity for groups from the Middle and Upper
Schools to collaborate on performances and shows. The Dance Program, the Studio Art Program, the Jazz Band and
the Strings Program all have spring performances or shows that depend on the combined efforts of Middle and Upper
School students. These collaborations provide Middle School students with the opportunity to work with Upper School
mentors and role models as they experience the kinds of opportunities that lie ahead for them.

           Quarterly Courses and Concert Band (classes meet five times per cycle)
ART (Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grades)
     At the sixth grade level, students focus on a study of Chartres Cathedral, a Core Work. Through a variety of
     materials, students replicate key features of the Cathedral, including its stained glass. This study helps students
     understand the importance of telling history through visual communication. The focus of the seventh grade is
     drawing. Students will learn to represent three-dimensional images on a two-dimensional surface. In conjuction
     with the seventh grade study of the Renaissance, students learn to draw using perspective. In the eighth grade,
     students work three-dimensionally. At this level, the focus is on concept and craftsmanship, and students are
     regularly exposed to contemporary artists to inspire creative ideas and risk taking.


DANCE (Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grades)
     Middle School dance explores the dynamic fundamentals of dance choreography and varied techniques of classical
     ballet, modern, jazz, Latin, Caribbean, tap and hip hop dance. Students examine four fundamental elements
     of choreography–design, dynamics, motivation, rhythm–and explore the historical importance of each element.
     Students develop and perform engaging, original choreography projects and have the opportunity to self-assess by
     viewing their projects on video.


DIGITAL ART (Seventh and Eighth Grades)
     Students are immersed in media arts through a series of experiences that develop their research and communication
     skills. They create stories using manipulated and edited digital images. Students consider questions about how
     we integrate visual information into our lives and how design choices about space, color, light or music affect our
     emotions. Students develop their critique and feedback skills as they share and respond to each other’s work.
24
DIVERSITY OF DANCE (Eighth Grade)
  Eighth grade dancers further explore the fundamentals of choreography through an in-depth study of American
  choreographers, including George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Lester Horton, Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham
  and Katharine Dunham. In addition, all eighth grade students focus on the Core Work Revelations by Alvin Ailey.
  Students who sign up for two quarters of Dance perform their own choreographed dance for the school.

GRAPHIC DESIGN (Eighth Grade)
  This course introduces the vocabulary and visual components of graphic design through the use of computer
  applications such as Adobe Photoshop. Students scan pictures and/or capture images from a digital camera and
  manipulate those images to achieve the desired impact. Students look to contemporary designers and advertising
  teams through various websites and publications to better understand and plan their own graphic designs. Many
  skills developed in art classes are reinforced in graphic design class.

MUSIC (Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grades)
  Students in sixth grade continue to focus on developing an appreciation of music, reading music, performing both
  informally and formally in the classroom and for the community. They focus on music reading skills, harmonic
  analysis and singing in three-part harmony. During seventh grade, students continue to develop musical skills.
  Four-part harmony and vocal ranges are introduced and examined. By the time students are in eighth grade, their
  studies culminate in advanced vocal and instrumental performances. Acquired music reading skills allow students
  to explore, appreciate and respect more complex music of various genres, both inside and outside the classroom.

PERFORMANCE ENSEMBLE (Eighth Grade)
  This theatre arts course immerses participants in the performance and production of a classical play. Students study
  acting techniques such as viewpoint, biomechanics and clowning, and they explore the historical period of the play.
  This course is open to no more than 16 students on the basis of an audition. In early November, the ensemble
  performs the adapted play.

PERFORMANCE STUDIES (Eighth Grade)
  Students in this theatre arts course combine acting and performance with mediated arts. They collaborate to focus
  on creating a new kind of performance piece through the use of recorded sound, digital video, Twitter, blogging
  and other forms of media. Projects may include public arts events, short films and performance art.

PHOTOSHOP (Sixth Grade)
  Studying principals of design, students focus on pattern, composition and color. They learn basic techniques of
  Photoshop, a powerful tool for manipulating photographs and creating digital images. Students develop their skills
  and apply their understanding through their work on three projects in which they: create a mandala, juxtapose
  words and pictures to create an effect, and design and create an album or book cover.

THEATRE ARTS (Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grades)
  With a base in dramatic structure and improvisation, theatre arts classes in grades six and seven delve further
  into acting and performance. Students may combine scene work and readers’ theatre with public speaking and
  forensics. Seventh grade students explore Shakespeare’s language and works as the fine and performing arts Core
  Work. This study provides them with a foundation for their participation in Theatre Arts class and for their work
  with the seventh grade Shakespeare play production. In eighth grade, the theatre arts classes combine acting and
  performance with mediated arts, such as recorded sound, digital video, blogging and other forms of media, to
  create a new kind of performance piece.




                                                                                                                         25
                          Yearlong Courses (classes meet two times per cycle)
CHORUS (Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grades)
     Students continue to read music, develop an appreciation of music, and perform both informally and formally in
     the classroom and for the community. They study more complex vocal music compositions of various styles and
     genres, including classical, folk, jazz, spirituals, gospel and show music. Sixth grade focuses on music reading skills,
     harmonic analysis and singing in three-part harmony. During seventh grade, students try four-part harmony and
     explore vocal ranges. Their studies culminate in advanced vocal performances in eighth grade.


CONCERT BAND (Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grades)
     Students continue to build on the basics of instrumental and ensemble playing established in fourth and fifth
     grade. In sixth grade, students explore more complex rhythms, advance their skills on their individual instruments
     and perform more intricate ensemble music. In seventh grade, they continue developing their instrumental and
     ensemble skills and join the eighth grade students in a combined seventh and eighth grade band. Students in the
     eighth grade meet for band five times per cycle and do not take any other Fine and Performing Arts courses. They
     have the opportunity to compose and conduct classroom performances of their own original compositions.


CRITIC’S CORNER (Sixth Grade)
     Everyone’s a critic. In this class, students learn to observe and critique live performances–including MKA
     performances across all three campuses. They learn to share their views with others and practice presenting their
     views in a variety of public venues, from podcasts to public speech. They develop critical writing skills by reading
     published critics’ reviews and then writing their own.


MEDIA LITERACY (Seventh and Eighth Grades)
     What is Media? How do the images we see and the songs we hear every day shape our understanding of the world
     around us? In Media Literacy, students explore answers to these questions by viewing and analyzing media and by
     creating new media of their own. They collaborate to develop a common vocabulary for sharing their ideas and
     use reflective practice to deepen their understanding of the relationship between the media we view and how we
     understand ourselves, our community and our culture.


STAGECRAFT (Eighth Grade)
     Stagecraft focuses on the backstage work that goes into building sets, designing lights, running sound and other
     production elements. Students learn the basics of set construction, sound and electrics with a focus on safety,
     problem solving and the design process. They often serve on the crews for various plays and concerts.


STRINGS (Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grades)
     Violinists, violists and cellists study traditional classical music for string instruments by Vivaldi, Bach and other
     classical composers. They further their skills by playing various other genres of music arranged for string ensembles
     that span from traditional to contemporary. Upper House students meet regularly and rehearse as an ensemble.




26
Library/Technology
Upper House students continue to explore the relationship between research and technology and to develop information
literacy skills as they engage in a variety of research projects assigned in specific subject areas and supported in the Library.
Students devise questions, gather and evaluate information and refine their research process through a series of strategic
steps. They create a range of products, from a written paper to a multimedia presentation. In all aspects of the research
process, students learn how to use information and ideas in an appropriate and ethical manner.
In all academic disciplines, students use technology to learn in a variety of contexts, from using webs for brainstorming
and organizing ideas to collaborating with classmates and teachers on forums and blogs. Students refine their skills using
computer applications as productivity and learning tools to write, edit and revise their written work; to graph data; and to
present information in creative, dynamic ways that demonstrate understanding of important ideas.

Study Skills
Sixth grade is the transition to the Upper House, the first year Middle School students have a different teacher for each
subject and the first year they receive letter grades at the end of each quarter. In the Study Skills class, students learn
strategies to help them navigate the increased expectations that sixth grade brings. They learn strategies for organization,
time management, goal setting, self-monitoring and reflection, exam preparation and other essential skills.

Health
The health curriculum seeks to support and help Middle School students make healthy lifestyle choices. Students receive
accurate, developmentally appropriate information and participate in carefully guided discussions. Through small-group
discussions, students are encouraged to develop strong decision-making, communication and refusal skills. They learn to
respect themselves and others, and this respect becomes the basis for making sound decisions that lead to good physical
and mental health. All health courses promote respect for each student’s family’s values.

SIXTH GRADE
Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices
   Through a study of body systems, sixth grade students develop an understanding of healthy lifestyle choices and
   risk factors. They explore general anatomy and physiology of the digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems;
   nutrition and proper diet. Information on heart disease, high blood pressure, the risks of nicotine products, and
   the benefits of exercise are also included. Sixth grade health is taught as part of the science curriculum.


SEVENTH GRADE
Understanding Substance Abuse and Its Consequences
   Students explore and begin to understand the nature of addiction. They clearly define “drug” and learn about
   the physical, psychological and social effects of drugs. Students discuss and examine other important issues,
   including decision-making, peer pressure and the consequences of substance abuse. The main drugs discussed
   include alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, performance enhancers and designer drugs. Using resources
   provided, students create and share a digital presentation on the nature and risks of drug use.


EIGHTH GRADE
Creating Healthy Relationships and Understanding the Human Reproductive System
   Students in eighth grade learn about the physical, social and emotional changes that occur during puberty. They
   focus on understanding the anatomy and physiology of the reproductive systems, puberty, relationships, fetal
   development and birth, sexually transmitted diseases, and abstinence and other contraceptives. Through ongoing,
   small-group discussions, students gain insight into and develop an understanding of the human body. Their web-
   based research for a presentation on sexually transmitted diseases also provides a foundation for discussion.


                                                                                                                              27
Physical Education
All students in the Physical Education program begin to develop confidence as they pursue fitness by working together,
learning game strategies and incorporating good sportsmanship into games and practices. They begin classes with general
and specific warm-ups, followed by attention to fitness and instruction in the skills of a particular sports unit. Students
develop playing skills by participating in drills, scrimmages and modified games. They are encouraged to maintain a
positive attitude toward general fitness, try new things, and have fun, while learning and improving their sports skills. As
a result, sportsmanship is the goal of each class game, and competition is not stressed.
The Physical Education Department uses a Presidential Fitness Testing Report, which describes a student’s current fitness
level and prescribes strategies and activities for improving areas that can be strengthened.
Students work on developing flexibility, coordination, muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, speed,
large and small locomotor skills through jumping, jogging, running, sprinting, galloping, throwing, catching, punting,
and dribbling (with feet and hands).
Games and activities taught during the year are:

     President’s Fitness Test                   Handball                                    Indoor climbing wall
     Rope jumping/Aerobics                      Team handball                               Newcombe
     Exercise machines                          Speedball                                   Beachball volleyball
     Ball-handling skills                       Paddleball                                  Volleyball
     Flag football                              Softball                                    Field hockey
     Table tennis                               Baseball                                    Floor hockey
     Tennis                                     Basketball                                  Lacrosse
     Badminton                                  Soccer
     Social dancing                             Ultimate Frisbee




          ATHLETICS PROGRAM
              Students in the Upper House may participate in the extracurricular athletics program, which gives
              them the opportunity to experience team play and develop their athletic skills. The program
              emphasizes individual student success, so all interested players are included and have a chance to
              participate. Teams practice daily after school during the appropriate seasons, and all “A” and “B”
              teams compete against other schools in scheduled games or meets.
              Seventh and eighth grade students are eligible to be part of the following teams: boys’ and girls’
              soccer, field hockey, football, coed cross country, boys’ and girls’ tennis, coed swimming, boys’ and
              girls’ basketball, ice hockey, wrestling, fencing clinic, boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, softball and baseball.
              Sixth grade students may participate in most, but not all, of these sports.




28
Middle School Faculty
Thomas W. Nammack                                      Susan FitzGibbon
Headmaster                                             Grade 4                                       Mathew Philopose
B.A., Brown University                                 B.A., Union College                           Science Department Chair
M.S. Ed., University of Pennsylvania                   M.B.A., Columbia University                   B.A., Madras Christian College, India
Dr. Randy Kleinman                                     Tom Fleming                                   M.S., Bank Street College
Head, Middle School                                    Grade 4
Director of Academic Support 4-12                      B.A., M.A., William Paterson University
                                                                                                     Jennifer Pingeon
                                                                                                     Humanities
B.A., SUNY at Stony Brook                              Amy Fossett                                   B.A., Hamilton College
M.A., New York University                              Science                                       M.A., Bank Street College
Ed.D., Seton Hall University                           B.A., Middlebury College
Karen Newman                                           M.S., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
                                                                                                     Yesenia Ravelo-Rodriguez
                                                                                                     Spanish
Director of Curriculum and Professional Development    Maria Gilmartin                               B.A, College of New Jersey
B.A., Swarthmore College                               Fine & Performing Arts Chair/Chorale/Music
M.A., University of Chicago                            B.M., William Paterson University
                                                                                                     Tom Ruddy
                                                                                                     Librarian
Boni Luna                                              M.A., Montclair State University
                                                                                                     B.A., M.L.S., Rutgers University
Assistant Head, Middle School                          Alex Gordon
B.A., Brigham Young University                                                                       Jason Ruff
M.A., Seton Hall University                            Technical Theatre, Digital Art                Art
                                                       B.A., Williams College                        B.F.A., University of Delaware
CherylAnne Amendola                                    M.A., New York University
Social Studies                                                                                       Lynn Salehi
B.A., Montclair State University                       Deborah Gordon                                History Department Chair & Dean of Student Life
M.A., Columbia University                              Mathematics Department Chair                  B.A., Loyola College
                                                       B.A., Brandeis University
René Amirata                                           M.A., Columbia University                     Karen Murley Schifferdecker
French/Spanish                                                                                       English/Latin
B.A., Washington College                               Nancy Gratz                                   B.A., Drew University
                                                       Mathematics
Shiva Behradnia                                        B.S., Grove City College                      Leon Shade ‘98
Humanities                                             M.S., University of Pittsburgh                Physical Education/Health
B.S., Montclair State University                                                                     B.A., Rutgers University
M.A.T., Johns Hopkins University                       Dimitri Hadjipetkov
                                                       Strings                                       Alise Shuart
Carlaina Bell                                          B.A., Montclair State University              Physical Education/Health
Foreign Language Department Chair                      M.A., New York University                     B.A., Kenyon College
B.A., University of Virginia                                                                         B.S., SUNY at Buffalo
M.Ed., Harvard University                              Alan Jones
                                                       English                                       Kenneth Smith
Dominique Benson                                       B.A., Hobart & William Smith College          PE Department Chair/
Chinese, French, Latin                                 M.L.S., Simmons College                       Coordinator of Department of Athletics
B.A., M.A., University of Geneva, Switzerland          M.A.T., Tufts University                      B.S., Gordon College
Jessica Bishop                                         M.Ed., Bank Street College                    Brian Stern
Social Studies                                         Marsha Kleinman                               Science/Mathematics
B.A., Franklin & Marshall College                      English Department Chair                      B.S., Rutgers University
Deborah Branker                                        B.A., SUNY at Binghamton                      S. Veronica Toscano
English                                                M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University   French, Spanish
B.A., Swarthmore College                               Stefania Lambusta ‘98                         B.A., Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Ecuador
M.A., University of Wisconsin - Madison                Mathematics                                   M.A., Universidad de Salamanca, Spain
M.S., Bank Street College                              B.A., Drew University                         Penny Weissman
Guadalupe Cabido                                       M.A., Seton Hall Univerisity                  Science
Mathematics, Spanish                                   Linda Larkin                                  B.A., SUNY at Buffalo
B.Ed., Instituto Superior Del Profesorado, Argentina   Band/Music                                    M.S., SUNY at Stony Brook
Anna Claudio                                           B.Music, Boston University                    Daniel Weller ‘01
French, Spanish                                        M.Music, Indiana University                   Science, Health
B.A., Rutgers University                               Jaime Lehrhoff                                B.A., New York University
M.A., University of Massachusetts                      Learning Specialist                           Helena Wullert
Scott J. Coronis                                       B.S. Adelphi University                       Mathematics
Dean of Students                                       M.A., New York University                     B.A., Douglass College
B.A., Dartmouth College                                CDT-C, Montclair State University             Dr. Alina Yurkovsky
Laura Demaria                                          Laura Lemaire                                 Psychologist, Learning Specialist/Middle, Upper
Social Studies                                         Grade 4                                       B.A., M.A., American University
B.A., The College of Wooster                           B.A., University of Santa Clara               Psy.D., Yeshiva University
M.S.Ed., City College of New York                      M.B.A., Montclair State University            Jennifer Zagariello
Christian Ely                                          Ruth Miller                                   Director of Educational Technology/
Theatre Arts                                           English                                       Assistant Director of Curriculum and
B.F.A., Western Kentucky University                    B.A., Trinity College                         Professional Development
                                                       M.A., Middlebury College                      B.A., Sweet Briar College
Monica Elmore
                                                       Sunnie Minn                                   M.A., LaVerne University
Dance
B.F.A., Temple University                              Science/Health
M.A., New York University                              B.S., and M.S., SUNY at Stony Brook
                                                       Gary Pacheco
                                                       Mathematics
                                                       B.A., Rutgers University



                                                                                                                                                        29
                        Character Standards
                        For The MKA Community
All members of the MKA community strive to act, speak
and think in ways that are:

Respectful
We act with civility in our relations with others while still valuing ourselves. We are conscious of the world around us,
and we recognize the worth of all we have and treat it accordingly.

Friendly
We demonstrate good will and compassion in our relationships with others. We understand that in order to have
friends we must be friends and treat all with understanding, loyalty and respect.

Responsible
We fulfill obligations and complete tasks to the fullest of our ability, and we are accountable members of
our community. We volunteer our assistance when called upon and budget our time, efforts and resources sensibly.

Confident
We uphold a positive image of ourselves regardless of the way others perceive us. We recognize our
potential and challenge ourselves to improve the talents and skills we possess. We are able to take pride in our work,
while remaining humble and accepting criticism. We express our opinions freely without fear of the judgment of oth-
ers and always speak up when we see acts of injustice.

Temperate
We balance all aspects of our lives. By devoting personal attention to academics and personal
commitments, we maintain moderation. While welcoming relaxation, we exert self-control and strength of will when
faced with temptation and challenge.

Fair
We cultivate an environment where all students may act and speak without the fear of prejudice,
intolerance or judgment. We recognize and seek to understand the differences between individuals in the community.
While recognizing these differences, we also value the inherent equality among all.

Informed
We rely not only on our own experiences to make decisions, but we also actively seek a more thorough
understanding of the world. With our knowledge, we envision a more peaceful and empathetic society.

Honest
We understand the value and necessity of being true to ourselves, as well as others, and we are sincere in words and
actions. We take pride in the authenticity of our own work and ideas, and we have the courage and integrity to take
responsibility for all of our actions.

30

								
To top